Three die in Caribbean cruise ship fire

Three die in Caribbean cruise ship fire

Three people have died after a fire broke out on a luxury cruise ship docked at the Caribbean island of St Lucia.

A crew member and two contractors passed away on board the Oceania Insignia.

There were 656 passengers and 400 crew members on board when the fire broke out at around 8.30am on Thursday. All were evacuated and the rest of the cruise was cancelled.

The blaze began in the engine room and was contained to that area.

Jason Lasecki, senior director of public relations for Prestige Cruise Holdings, the parent company of Oceania Cruises, said it is not yet clear what caused the fire.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said: "We are deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred on Insignia.'

"We have extended our heartfelt condolences to the families of those involved and are offering them our full support.

"This is truly an emotional time for all of us at Oceania Cruises. We are grateful there are no other crew injuries."

The passengers, including some Britons, were flown from Castries, the capital of St Lucia, to Miami, from where they were then flown home.

The cruise was originally meant to be 10 days, and set out from San Juan in Puerto Rico last Saturday.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Lasecki added: "A crew member remains in the hospital and is reported to be stable. We are grateful there are no other crew injuries.

"Our top priority is ensuring all 656 guests return home as quickly and comfortably as possible. [We] arranged for charter flights this evening to return all guests to Miami, as well as transfers and hotel accommodations in Miami until flights to their city of origin can be arranged.

"All guests will receive a 100 per cent refund, and a 50pc credit towards a future Oceania Cruises voyage."

Best Caribbean Cruises for 2015
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Three die in Caribbean cruise ship fire
For many of us just the name Barbados conjures up images of caster sugar beaches and warm azure sea. You can find all that and more, plus in Bridgetown music-filled bars, markets and the historic Garrison area. Must-sees include Harrison's Cave, a group of caverns filled with stalagmites and stalactites.
Take me there: P&O has a 14-night cruise departing Barbados on 2 Jan 2015 from £999pp, based on two sharing, including flights.
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Take me there: Holland America has 11-night cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, calling at St Lucia, St Thomas, St Kitts and Barbados, from £891pp cruise only, departing on 5 Jan 2015, based on two sharing.
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Take me there: Princess Cruises has a 10-day Caribbean Islander cruise from New York on October 25 2015, calling at St Thomas, Antigua and Aruba from £599pp, not including flights.
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Take me there: MSC Cruises has a seven-night cruise from Miami, departing in February 2015, calling at Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and Mexico,from £459pp (a saving of £200pp on the brochure price), based on two sharing, not including flights.
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Take me there: Thomson has a seven-night Cuban Fusion cruise, departing from 30 December to 7 April 2015, sailing from Montego Bay in Jamaica with two days in Havana, from £1,039pp, based on two people sharing, including flights.

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Take me there: Norwegian Cruise Line has a seven night cruise calling at Belize from £1,040pp, based on two sharing, including flights.

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